Salted, the platform that scales better-for-you, digitally native (Quick Service Restaurant) brands, today announced it has received $9M in seed financing, led by Kamine Development Corporation, with participation from Craft Ventures, Valor Equity Partners, Proof Ventures and Wonder Ventures. The investment will enable Salted to more quickly execute on its mission to displace massive fast food chains with options that are aligned with today’s health-conscious and discerning consumer, and further capitalize on the opportunity for a healthy quick-service offering in the $325 billion dollar food delivery space.
“Salted was an early mover in both identifying and then quickly scaling to meet the needs of a new era of the digital-first eater. Understanding there is a huge gap in the access to healthy on-demand foods, Salted is serving as an example by giving the consumer what they desire. Affordable healthy options combined with a business that focuses on quality, data, and technology,” says Justin Kamine, Co-Founder at Kamine Development Corporation. “There is no doubt that this is how the next billion dollar quick service leader will be born. Salted created the playbook and now they are scaling rapidly nationwide as the leader.”
Defining the Future of the Restaurant Industry: Delivery-First, Better-for-You Brands
Salted has quietly built the largest delivery-first restaurant group in the U.S., with 17 locations already live across the country—effectively 500 storefronts—and 80 locations projected to be live by the end of 2022. By operating multiple brands that target underserved nutritional categories, the company has achieved an industry-leading revenue/square ft. ratio (up to $5,000-$10,000 per square foot) and a path-to-profitability standard that far outpace industry standards.
Salted’s better-for-you brands run the culinary spectrum—from the Korean-inspired moonbowls to the nationally-heralded Califlower Pizza. The food is 100 percent gluten-free, made with real ingredients, and emphasizes craveable, plant-based dishes. While focused on delivery, Salted’s brands are in fact multi-channel, with an emphasis on take out, and CPG product extensions rolling out to supermarkets across the country. Additionally, Salted launched its first brick-and-mortar storefront, under its “moonbowls” brand, in Los Angeles earlier this year.
“From the outset we’ve been impressed with Salted’s ability to create new concepts on top of its existing technology platform and national infrastructure. Its modular approach to building brands and use of market data and other intelligence is a clear differentiator and key to the success of their brands,” says Michael Tam, partner at Craft Ventures. “Salted’s growth and leadership position really trace back to Jeff’s early vision for building data-driven brands that match evolving consumer behavior and preference for high quality, consistent meals.”
“This isn’t about ‘virtual’ or ‘ghost’ kitchens,” says Salted founder and CEO Jeff Appelbaum, “as delivery is just one channel for us. It’s about using our digital-first platform to win trust with customers every day and build unique, multi-channel brands that will be around in 50 years. Value is important, but values are what will make the big winners in this space.
Quality Food from Digitally-Native Kitchens—Delivered at Scale
By designing a digital-first technology and operations platform, Salted has identified a capital efficient model for restaurants to scale, maintaining consistency, quality and a positive customer experience in markets across the country. Features include:
Full-stack platform integrates operations, national supply chain, quality control, and marketing systems—all designed specifically for off-premise (delivery and takeout) dining.
Proprietary ‘Intelligent Kitchens’ software incorporates data entry and camera technology to gather insight and ensure order accuracy, production levels, presentation standards, and preparation times.
Data analysis and continued iteration are prioritized across all Salted brands, with the Salted team analyzing thousands of data points daily across each location and providing feedback to its kitchen teams in real time.
“Consumers looking for ‘healthy’ fast food options have long been limited to processed sandwiches or pre-packaged salads, but that era is ending,” Appelbaum continues. “We believe there’s a huge opportunity to serve a new generation of consumers, one that cares deeply about sustainability, transparency, and the quality of the products they’re bringing into their home—without sacrificing on convenience.”